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WVU vs. Duquesne: Can We Beat A Team Whose Name We Can Not Pronounce

Du-quez-ney? Duke-e-ness? Donatello? Du-cane? Du-cane? How the fuck, do you get Du-cane from, Duquesne? That makes absolutely no sense, unless you are French and everyone knows I hate French people.

Now that we can correctly pronounce Duquesne, let's see if we have a chance (wink, wink) to win.

As will be the case for almost every game this year, WVU will only need to play its game to win. With our talent, size, and strength, we should not be forced to do anything out of the ordinary to win.

Of course, nothing is out of ordinary for us because Bob Huggins coaches for all possible scenarios. We need a quick run? He will throw a full court press or 1-3-1 at a team to force pressure. We need to maintain a lead? No worries, we just run our offense and let our play-makers go to work.

Thinking I'm speaking too generally (ed. - or too rhetorically?)? Well you are right -- let's get to the specifics.

  • Rebounding: If WVU dominates the glass, this game should be a blowout but that is easier said than done.  For a smaller team, the Dukes rebound fairly well, averaging 35.1 boards per game. That is more than WVU's 31 board average.  This discrepancy is likely due to the fact that WVU has actually played teams with a pulse so far this year.  The one quality opponent The Dukes have played, Pitt, out rebounded Duquesne by 10. 
  • Defense: Huggins loves to play tough defense but so far this season, teams have been shooting an abnormally high 45% against us.  We have been able to overcome that stat, by forcing almost 18 turnovers a game.  WVU needs to do a better job of closing out on shooters, while continuing to force turnovers to control this game.
  • Offense: The Dukes are holding opponents to an extremely low 37% from the field.  They also force 17 turnovers a game.  While it would appear that Duquesne could be tough on defense, I have no worries. WVU's assist to turnover ratio is at 1.5 right now, and we are shooting 47% from the field.  Expect those numbers to go up after this game.
  • Depth: No comparison, especially with The Dukes loss of Melquan Bolding.  Duquesne's starters average over 32 minutes a game.  Our pressure defense and the constant motion on offense, will equal tired legs and bad decisions. Huggs will run 10 - 11 guys in and out all night.  I almost feel bad for them.
  • Prediction: WVU 83 - Duquesne 63
  • Remainder of the season: I hope to do a little breakdown before every game. However, we all know I can be extremely lazy 99% of the time.  If you like it, let me know.  If you hate it, let me know, so I don't waste my time.